![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
A duty arises between a physician and an identified third party when the physician provides medical advice and it is foreseeable that the third party will rely on that advice.
There was an interaction between employees of two Minnesota health systems. A nurse practitioner in one system sought to have a patient admitted to the hospital of the other system. Admission was allegedly denied by a hospitalist. Three days later, the patient died. The plaintiff, patient's son, sued for malpractice. The district court and a divided panel of the court of appeals concluded that, as a matter of law, the hospitalist owed no duty of care to the patient because no physician-patient relationship had been established.
Did the hospitalist's decision to deny a patient admission to a hospital constitute professional negligence?
It was reasonable to conclude that the physician knew or should have known that his decision whether or not to admit a prospective patient, based on his own medical judgment, would be relied on by the nurse practitioner and her patient, and the physician also knew or should have known, that a breach of the applicable standard of care could result in serious harm.